Food for Thought

Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.

Set Yourself Up for Success With Your Exercise Habits

Set Yourself Up for Success With Your Exercise Habits

In 2021, we’re working on small, incremental changes to help us reach our goals, and that means we start by setting ourselves up for success! We can plan ahead for fitness success and give ourselves all the tools we’ll need along the way. 

I recently appeared on a podcast and discussed setting ourselves up for success with our exercise habits. The host shared with me that she made a plan to get moving for thirty minutes every day of January, but things went off the rails when she missed a day. There are a couple of key points to consider when looking how to ‘fix’ that. One key is to make sure we’re setting ourselves up in such a way that things don’t go off the rails! An equally important key is to give ourselves some grace when we do miss a day.  

Let’s start with setting ourselves up for success. One key is making “SMART” goals: simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. Making a goal like exercising every day in a month can be a great way to kickstart your journey, but consider if that’s really realistic for your lifestyle. Personally, I think starting off with 3-4 days is a more realistic goal for most schedules. Check your own schedule, consider where you are starting, and make a “SMART” decision on how frequently you should aim to get moving. 

Consider these things: Is your goal simple and achievable? Do you have the time in your schedule? Is it on your calendar yet? Can you measure it? 

Your scheduled movement time should be a commitment you make to yourself that’s too important to cancel. 

Here are my four tips for setting yourself up for success in your workout routine:

  1. Be Aware of Your Goals

Before we can make goals, we have to know what we’re aiming for! We have to be aware of what our big goal is before we can begin. We also have to be aware of where we’re starting so that we can set goals that are realistic in our current state. Being aware  of what you want to do, where you are, and where you want to go will help your goals stay realistic. 


  1.   Put Measurements in Place 

Decide how you want to measure your success, and set up dates to take those measurements! Measuring your progress helps you to keep track of what you’ve accomplished. You can use those measurements to decide if your current plan is working, or if you need to make some tweaks to your routine. 

  1.  Make Sure You have Variety

Having variety in our movement plans helps us to be flexible. Some days, you might find yourself too busy for your scheduled yoga class, but maybe you can fit in a quick trip around the block. The weather might not be working with your run in the park, but a home workout video can keep you out of the cold. Some days, you might just not feel like doing whatever workout you planned, but you can go for a bike ride or pick up some dumbbells if that feels more your speed for the day. Being flexible and allowing space for variety will let you get in your movement time each day and try new things along the way. 


  1. Make Movement a Habit

In order to reach our goals, we need to make movement a part of our routine! Make goals that are realistic for your lifestyle and add in variety to keep things interesting. You’ll have a much better chance of sticking to your plans!

Success is not measured by never getting off plan. Success is measured by how quickly you get back on plan when things go awry. 

One thing you can count on is that life is going to happen, and there will be things that get in the way of your schedule. What you can control is giving yourself a little bit of grace when things don’t go your way and getting back on your plan just as soon as you can. 


What activities bring variety to your life? Let me know in the comments!

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